WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) praised Senate passage of legislation to enhance efforts to combat human trafficking.
The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) reforms a misused provision in a 1996 telecommunications act that allows companies to evade prosecution for online business practices that facilitate human trafficking.
Boozman delivered remarks from the floor during the debate of SESTA where he said the bill will “help by giving law enforcement and prosecutors additional tools to crack down on crimes involving exploitation of the vulnerable.”
As an example of companies using legal loopholes to avoid prosecution for trafficking crimes, Boozman pointed to Backpage, a company who helped customers modify their ads to hide references to underage prostitutes. He said SESTA would prevent these types of nefarious practices.
“It’s time to rip the cover away from these bad actors by making narrowly-crafted changes to the law to ensure websites that knowingly facilitate criminal sex trafficking online are held accountable. These bad actors won’t be able to fade quietly into the dark as we are giving state attorneys general the authority to prosecute websites that violate federal sex trafficking laws,” Boozman said.